Possible new Frisco lightweight passenger cars

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by pbender, May 27, 2018.

  1. Hi Tony,
    I am amazed at how many are around some how.
    Neat !
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2020
  2. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    the regal series 4-4-2 cars are no closer than the plan 4140 10-6 sleeper Railsmith used.

    Years ago, Des Plaines Hobbies commissioned M&R sides to do etched stainless steel car sides for most of the Frisco/Katy lightweight passenger cars. These are actually the most accurate cars for Frisco or Katy. They were sold as kits ( including the core kit ) by Des Plaines Hobbies, and later directly as sides from M&R.

    Des Plaines still lists some of the cars as in stock. Unfortunately thier search won’t let me link to the results, but just put Texas Special in as the keywords for the search.


    M&R is on hiatus, for how long the owner isn’t certain. The sides may be available from him again directly some day.

    The other option, which I have never seen in person, are the milled plastic sides from union station products. I have never tried any of these. https://unionstationproducts.com/st-louis-san-francisco/

    The problem with the car sides is that the core kits are no longer readily available.

    In the meantime, the Railsmith cars are the best stand ins we have, but make sure you order them. Lowell is pretty strict about limited production runs and not re-running models.

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  3. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Lowell posted a photo of the MTL produced model of shadow lined baggage car 436. Other than the lack of roof vents, the model is visually close to the prototype photos.

    ( this link was posted before, but for reference: https://lowellsmith.net/product/frisco-baggage-436/ )

  4. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    On his Facebook live event today, Lowell mentioned the SLSF 436 baggage cars started shipping.

    I think he said they were in the mail unless you also ordered the PRR “Swatara Rapids”. He will ship the two cars together once the “Swatara Rapids” cars arrive from MicroTrains.
  5. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

  6. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Yesterday the mailman brought me 5 additional cars from Lowell. I received the 3 Railsmith Frisco coaches, the MTL Frisco heavyweight baggage car, and the Railsmith Katy Texas Special coach “New Braunfels”.

    With the addition of the Frisco cars to my collection, I now have the ability to run a Texas a special consist that isn’t just Katy cars ( plus through sleepers in PRR and B&O paint ). This is much more prototypical than an all Katy consist.

    The “New Braunfels” car is interesting in that the nameplate is an etched metal piece attached to the molded in nameplate. That means it may be easier to change the name on this particular car to a Frisco name without damaging the paint.

    Lowell also gave an update on Swatara Rapids, the upcoming shadowlined PRR contribution to the New York-San Antonio pool. Microtrains is decorating these cars for Lowell. Apparently Microtrains needed to build a new jig to hold the cars in the pad printing machines, so that caused a delay.

    Ozarktraveler and Joe Lovett like this.
  7. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

  8. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Wish this guy would step up to HO.

    modeltruckshop likes this.
  9. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Not likely. Lowell is an n-scaler, and the whole reason he got into the manufacturing side
    of things was that Walthers wanted out of n-scale... at least on the locomotive and rolling
    stock side.

    At least in HO scale, you have accurate models available, even if they are brass. (There are
    several Hallmark Texas Special or Meteor sets on e-bay as I type this). We n-scalers have always had
    to either settle for standins or building the cars ourselves.

    At some point in the future, Lowell will make us a proper RPO and a Texas Special dining
    car. The Katy versions of these cars ended up on the SP&S, and Lowell models the SP&S.

  10. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    The eastern seaboard 14-4 cars are a different plan number than the Frisco/Katy cars.

    A better option is the Union Station Products or Des Planes Hobbies/M&R models sides. These are proper Frisco cars. The M&R sides are etched stainless steel. The Union Station Products cars are milled styrene.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  11. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I received my “Swatara Rapids” and “Cascade Brim” from Lowell yesterday. Beautiful cars. I need to get my photo gear out and record my updated consist for both the Texas Special and the PRR Penn Texas.

    Lowell says these are sold out, as are most of the Texas a special cars....
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    So a couple of updates... First, a few weeks ago, I received my “Alamo”. It is nice, but I still wish I had talked Lowell into doing it as Dallas.

    Second, Lowell announced today he is going to run a 12-1 sleeper in shadowline paint as “McCallsburg”. This is a prototypically correct car using the Microtrains 12-1 sleeper body.

  13. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Lowell has now announced 3 more cars for us, all coaches:

    Webster Groves ( https://lowellsmith.net/product/frisco-webster-groves-coach/ ) with Frisco in the letterboard
    University City ( https://lowellsmith.net/product/frisco-university-city-coach/ ) also with Frisco in the letterboard
    And Picardy Lane ( https://lowellsmith.net/product/texas-special-picardy-lane/ ) with Texas Special in the letterboard.

    Picardy Lane was the single coach Frisco ordered as additional equipment that was delivered in 1955.

    Lowell posted pictures of the cars on his website. I only assume those were final pre-production samples.

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  14. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Wouldn't it be great if someone would produce these cars in HO scale?

  15. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Daniel Dawson likes this.
  16. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

  17. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    “Osage River” and “James River” arrived this week, along with a couple of Southern sleepers that I will use on the Kansas City Florida Special.

    Lowell hints that dining cars will be the next newly tooled car he releases. If he sticks to his plan, that means we should be getting a prototypically correct Texas Special diner sometime this year. I don’t know if it will be the Frisco or Katy car.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  18. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Incidentally, I forgot to mention here that Lowell is releasing a 12-4 car in the Wabash “Blue” series. This is the type of car that Wabash contributed to the Chicago-San Antonio ( doing this from memory, that could be wrong ) pool in the mid 1950s.


    also available is a pair of cars. One car is the same as the one above. The other is a “Western” series car thar originally was painted in UP colors, but was eventually painted blue. This particular car apparently appeared as a substitute car for some period ( not clear how long ) during the 1960s because Pullman missed a lease payment to Frisco. ( paraphrasing the information from the TRRAHS book on the meteor )

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2022
  19. friscochoctaw

    friscochoctaw Member

    UPDATE: Lowell Smith has recently announced reservations for the fluted RPO-Baggage in both Texas Special (MKT) 1000 “Anson B. Jones” and Frisco (Meteor) 251 “Normandy.” Both are prototypical and feature the as-delivered baggage door with three small rectangular panes.
  20. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I actually started a new thread for those two cars:


    the next prototypically correct car we are going to get is the dining car, but I have no idea exactly when. ( Like the RPO, the MKT sold their Texas Special dining car to SP&S )
    Joe Lovett likes this.

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